Who Knew? UPDATED
Two weeks ago I got a phone call from my Uncle Dave and my first thought was "who died?" He's never called me. In fact I've only seen him twice and those were the only times I've ever spoken to him. Other than that it was just a card on my Birthday and one at Christmas.
I've never understood the distance. I just accepted it.
The first time I ever saw him, he had just flown up to visit us in his 310. He took me for a ride that was much to short and then he was gone.
The second time was at his daughter's wedding. Ever see a doting dad marry his daughter off? It's hard not to share in their joy. I think she had just finished her pediatric residency shortly before. I don't think I spoke to him much there, but I do remember seeing him with a grin plastered across his face.
He was also driving his son's Camaro since the family cars were all allocated to wedding activities. He loved anything that went fast and or had enought horsepower that you could feel it in your chest.
Two years ago, our family Christmas card was a family portrait. He was telling me that every time he walked past his fridge he'd look at it and think "I should call Andy" and that this time he just did what he was thinking. I was relieved that no one had died.
It didn't take us long to cover the weather and general family questions and hit the seven minute lull. The conversation appeared to be over and he was politely excusing himself when I asked him a question about planes.
If you want to get a man to talk, and he's a pilot, ask him something about his plane. A few times he got going and then paused to explain what he had just said since he thought he was talking over my head. I let him know I had always wanted to fly and knew what he was talking about.
We talked pilot talk and planes for almost an hour. It was getting late and more calls were promised by both sides. Over the next few days e-mails were shot back and forth with more aircraft questions and pilot talk.
I suspect that there is an intrinsic love for family. I had just tapped into a huge pocket. I was looking forward to getting to know my uncle.
He had some sinus surgery scheduled for last week. The presurgical checkup brought to light some critical heart conditions and he ended up having open heart surgery last Thursday.
He hasn't woken up from it. In fact his body is shutting down and as of yesterday they give him upto 72 hours till he's completely gone.
If he hadn't of called, my response would have been "Hmmm, better go console my mom" Now it's personal. I was looking forward to getting to know him better and I never will. I feel a deep sense of loss that cannot be explained by one phone call.
I think love is timeless.
I thank God he called me.
Have I loved him my whole life and never known it? Could be that intrinsic family love thing I mentioned earlier. Can you love someone based on a three interractions?
When the age comes and all time has passed, do those two questions become the same one?
Am I waxing sermonic?
I surely am, and I know that I want to spend eternity with the One who loves.
I've got a few friends and family that I've lost touch with. Guys I miss. I need to call them.
My uncle has stabilized. He's off of dialisis as his kidneys have started functioning again, the seizures have stopped and he's off the seizure meds, and while not real responsive, he is grasping fingers and able to squeeze out responses.